It’s All In How You Interpret It

Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

Van de Walled Cards Captioned

Mention common core, and you’ll get a wide range of comments–some supportive and some not so much.  I recently read a comment that the common core standards are not developmentally appropriate.  The specific standard the author was referring to was the Kindergarten standard stating that students should fluently add and subtract within 5. I have to respectfully disagree, but I think it’s all in how you interpret that standard.  I believe the author of the comment envisioned teachers drilling Kinder babies with traditional flashcards.  That’s not how I interpret that standard at all.  When students work with concrete materials to explore number combinations to 5, they are developing fluency.  When they work with dot cards and five- or ten-frames, they are becoming fluent. So, to me, it’s all in the instructional method.  Check out these two freebies for developing fluency within 5 and 10.

Dot cards
Exploring 5 Sort

You might also like:
Composing and Decomposing Numbers with Dot Cards
Common Core, Number Bonds Bundle

13 Comments

  1. Krogers Kindergarten

    I completely agree with you! I have been in Common Core training the last few months and I really think they are going to be good when we start implementing in Florida next year. We use 5 and 10 frames every day and my kids’ fluency is amazing! I have not gotten as comfortable yet with dot cards but I’m getting there.

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      OMGosh, the dot cards are wonderful. My Kinder teachers have them laminated and on a ring. The kids LOVE to do them! It’s fascinating to me to hear all the different ways they “see” the numbers.

      Reply
  2. Amy B

    Thanks for these Donna! I am going to use them with my own son and my class! Double bonus!!!! I think the common core will be great too!!! I like the concept of teaching less and going deeper!!!!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Hay, Amy! Good to hear from you! Looking forward to hearing how your kiddos like them!

      Reply
  3. Sandra

    Donna, I think you’re absolutely correct. I’ve been in Common Core training and am in my Mathematics EdS classes where we are learning that the traditional way of drill and kill is not appropriate until students have relational understanding of the how and why!! I’ve already implemented much of the number talks and there IS a HUGE difference in their number sense!!!
    If teachers don’t buy into this, it may turn into the “New Math” of the mid-1900’s. We have to grow and change with the needs of our students:) Thanks!

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Sandra, I love the strong math behind the standards. While I’m in Texas, which is not common core, our teachers are teaching with more of an emphasis on numeracy, and it’s an amazing thing to watch!

      Reply
  4. Ms. Kerri

    I was a little skeptical myself when I read these Kindergarten standards. But since I’ve been working with my students on adding and subtracting, they meet the challenge. They enjoy the challenge and we use ten frames like crazy to show numbers. Thanks for sharing this activity. I really enjoy reading your blog.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      I think you’re right! The kids will definitely rise to the challenge, and they love it.

      Reply
  5. April Kreitzer Wolfe

    Hi! I am your newest follower! I found you through TBTS!

    April
    Wolfelicious

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      Hey, April!! Welcome!

      Reply
  6. Melissa

    I’m glad I’ve recenlty found your blog. I went to a common core training a few weeks ago and I’m presenting what I learned to my kinder and 1st grade teacher on Monday. I think they will mostly open to this way of thinking about math and instruction, but I’m sure there will be questions. I may be coming back to you for ideas!
    F is For First Grade

    Reply
  7. Melissa

    oops- teachers (more than one!)

    Reply
    • Donna Boucher

      My teachers love it, and so do the kids! Good luck with your presentation.

      Reply

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